Back it up, folks

November 19, 2007 at 5:16 pm | Posted in life | 5 Comments

Ok, everyone. If you are behind in making your regular computer backups, this is your wake-up call.

Yes, my hard drive in my Mac died last Friday morning. A colleague called it, “the IBM click-click-click.” It was pronounced dead Friday late morning, and a replacement was on my desk by 3pm that day.

All my documents were backed up to within about a month, but I lost all my music. The real PITA is my grades. My excel spreadsheets with my grades were not completely up to date. One was 3 weeks old, the others were 6 weeks old. That really stinks. I’m going to have to ask my students to give me back all the papers I collected in the last month or two. My upper division courses should be no problem, but my freshman courses … big PITA.

At least my work computer is on a 3-year “lifecycle.” New machine every three years, everything warranteed until that time.

But make your backups. Now! My machine was only 1.4 years old.


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  1. Ow. Sorry to hear about that.

    I had an unfortunate incident a few years ago, when an aberrant disk utility trashed a hard drive. My backup was three months old. I lost all the photos I took on vacation the month before. Everything else (budgets, etc.) was easily reconstructed but those photos will never come back.

    I learned my lesson really well. Today, I’ve got two external 300GB drives for backups. Each one holds three full backups of my system. Every Friday night, the oldest one gets updated to match the current system state. So if the system dies again, I won’t lose more than 6 days, and I’ll have five weeks of older backups, in case something glitches with the most recent one. (All this, plus 8mm tape-backups, which I store at work, to protect against something that takes out the backup drives as well, like a fire or tornado or something.)

    WRT your music, if any of it was purchased from the iTunes Store, you can contact customer service, and they’ll let you re-download your purchases. Of course, you’ll have to re-rip your CDs. I don’t know what you’ll be able to do with content from other sources.

  2. I haven’t bought anything from iTunes, but that’s mighty nice of them for doing that for folks.

    Some of that music is just lost. (*sigh*)

    I believe that I can backup my whole drive on the network with CTS (Computing & Tech Services) at the college. I just have to ask and they’ll send someone to show me how to do it. Guess I’ll be getting around to that sooner rather than later!

  3. YIKES!
    We need to do that – SOON! Would hate to loose wedding pics or photos of the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Not to mention YEARS of misc goodies.

  4. Hey Derek, I am very happy with Mozy online backup. For $50 a year, it keeps off-site backups current every day. Read more and get a discount on my blog page

  5. Lee: I remember seeing this on your blog and considering it, but I believe that I can back my stuff up on the server here at the school. I just need to get around to doing it. Now that classes are over (hooray!) I’m going to get one of the tech folks to help me figure it out. Thanks for the reminder of the offer, though.

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